Increasing protectionist policies in the United States have attempted to protect solar manufacturing jobs; however, they have created negative repercussions for the majority of the industry. This paper aims to analyze the 2018 30% US tariff on all imported photovoltaic cells and modules and whether or not it has been an effective policy to protect and encourage the solar industry. To do so, the paper will analyze similar tariffs enacted in 2012 and 2014 by the United States to understand how the tariffs have been impacting the solar energy’s labor market and photovoltaic module and cell price fluctuations. By researching past trends, this paper will argue the 2018 tariff is a failed policy because it negatively impacts the majority of the solar market by increasing the price of photovoltaic cells and modules, and the tariff is set at an insufficient rate to protect domestic solar manufacturers efficiently. Future policy change is then needed to encourage solar jobs by focusing more on the installation sector, rather than the manufacturing industry.

First Advisor

Kate Stirling

Date of Completion

Winter 12-19-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Economics

Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2020